‘Two Sides …’ – doing it for real

This weekend saw the first attempt at the ‘two sides of a car journey’ concept. This was a trip from Maidstone, south through the Weald and onto Romney Marsh, with a variety of scenery. The driver’s-eye images were taken with a fixed camera, using a monopod, plenty of string and a remote control.

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With a focal length of 28mm (full-frame equivalent) it was possible to include the top and bottom edges of the windscreen and both lower corners, to follow Lee Friedlander’s ‘America by Car’ series framing. This resulted in rather too much of the car interior showing, so I have cropped the image and also made a moderately contrasty mono conversion in order to emulate Friedlander’s look. One refinement to consider is colour-popping the things that the driver should be paying attention to (traffic lights, signs etc.)

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I operated the remote control from the passenger seat and also took the passenger-view images, mainly through the left side window. It was not as easy as first thought because of practical issues of anticipation, and fast moving objects fairly close to camera, moving side-to-side in frame. In rural areas, I was frequently photo-bombed by hedges.

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While this is reminiscent of some of Elaine Mayes’ ‘Autolandscapes’, I wanted to find better scenery and/or some things that a passenger could focus on, similar to Steve Fitch’s images. My intention is to leave the passenger-view images in colour.

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The next stage is editing. With about 150 images in each set, I hope to find six from each. Also, ideally I want to match pairs to show driver and passenger views from the same place. It is possible in principle, although I may have to exercise a little artistic licence.

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